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close this bookInformatics for Secondary Education - A Curriculum for Schools (ED/HEP - pii-iip - IFIP - UNESCO, 1994, 103 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction - Overall Aim and Justification
View the documentSection 1 - The Curriculum Format
View the documentSection 2 - Main Objectives of the Informatics Curriculum
View the documentSection 3 - The Curriculum Units
View the documentSection 4 - General Implementation Issues
Open this folder and view contentsAppendix 1 - Computer Literacy Units
View the documentAppendix 2 - Informatics in other Disciplines
View the documentAppendix 3 - General Advanced Level Units
View the documentAppendix 4 - Vocational Advanced Level Units
View the documentAppendix 5 - Bibliography

Section 3 - The Curriculum Units

GENERAL EDUCATION AT THE FOUNDATION LEVEL

Computer Literacy

Objectives

Students should be able to:

1. handle the basic hardware and software facilities of a computer system;
2. use, control and apply application oriented software tools
3. solve routine problems in an algorithmic form;
4. identify the most important social, economical and ethical consequences of IT.

Units of Computer Literacy for the Foundation Level have been divided into two modules:

CORE MODULE

CORE ELECTIVE MODULE

C1* Hardware

E1 Database Design and Use

C2* Systems Software Environment

E2 Spreadsheet Design awl Use

C3* Computing Trends

E3 Careers in Informatics

C4 Introduction to Using a Computer


C5 Text Processing


C6 Working with a Database


C7 Working with Graphics


C8 Social and Ethical Issues


C10 Choice of Software Tools


* These Units could be integrated with other Core Units as and when applicable.

In addition, two Optional Modules are specified for use either at the Foundation Level or the Advanced Level:

OPTIONAL PROGRAMMING MODULE (SEE COMMENTARY ON IMPLEMENTATION BELOW)

P1 Introduction to Programming
P2 Top-Down Program Design

GENERAL OPTIONS MODULE

Op1 Keyboarding Skills

Op7 Modelling and Simulation

Op2 Desk Top Publishing

Op8 Expert Systems

Op3 Computers and Communication

Op9 Robots and Feedback Devices

Op4 Creating Graphics

Op10 Music

Op5 Working with Multimedia

Op11 Statistics

Op6 Computer Aided Design (CAD)


FULL SPECIFICATIONS OF ALL THE ABOVE UNITS ARE GIVEN IN APPENDIX 1

Implementation of Foundation Units:

Recent radical changes in the work place and in the qualifications required for effective performance mean that secondary schools should aim to include at least the core elements of computer literacy as defined here within their main core curriculum.

This means that all schools should aim to cover the Core Module at a Foundation Level for all students. The Core Elective Module gives a broader experience of database and spreadsheet design and use, of particular value to those seeking employment as data entry clerks or for future secretaries; as well as a module on careers in informatics.

Units for Vocational Courses

The Core Elective Units will be of special interest to students leaving for work at the end of the Foundation Level. The following Optional Units will also be of value in vocational courses:

Keyboarding Skills (Op1) combined with the Core Unit of Text Processing (C5) may lead to employment as a secretary or data entry clerk, and will help gain entry into vocational training institutions which provide further training for secretaries.

Desk Top Publishing (Op2) and Creating Graphics (Op4) combined with the Core Unit on Working with Graphics (C7) will be of advantage to those seeking employment in the graphic design and printing industries.

Working with Multimedia (Op5) will help students to look for work in the advertising industry or the public relations department of a large firm.

Computer Assisted Design (Op6) will be of immediate value to those seeking employment in engineering, design, architecture and other occupation requiring the creation of technical drawings.

Informatics in Other Disciplines

Computer Literacy Objective 2 and Main Objectives 2 & 3 require students to apply IT Tools and Informatics Techniques within other subject areas. At a Foundation Level, there requirements can be met by using a selection of the examples given in Appendix 2 - Informatics in other Disciplines. Students will also find these examples a stimulant to their own work in other subjects as well as an enrichment of their informatics studies.

Teachers may find that by integrating the use of computers within subject areas, most of the Computer Literacy objectives can be met without the need for a separate course.

Optional Programming Module

Computer Literacy Objective 3 requires students to have the ability to solve routine everyday problems in an algorithmic form. This is most easily achieved by including the two Units P1 and P2 of the Optional Programming Module within the Foundation Level Core Module. In this context, the word algorithm is to be interpreted in its broadest sense, avoiding a narrow mathematical definition. Depending on the local situation and the availability of resources, this objective can be met either by the Programming Module, or by stressing the problem solving nature of using software tools within the main Core Units, thus avoiding too formal a treatment of algorithms at this stage. As an alternative, this objective could be met within the Core Mathematics Curriculum.

General Options Module

Is is recommended that these Computer Literacy Units be used at either the Foundation or the Advanced Levels, subject to the specific requirements at Foundation Level described above.

All Units should be studied by those wishing to have a broad understanding of computers in modern life but it is recognised that the resources available may limit the degree to which they can be supported by practical exercises within secondary schools.

Resource Requirements

In Appendices, each Unit Description indicates the minimum necessary resources required for successful implementation, and gives suggestions for optional extra resources.

ADVANCED LEVEL UNITS

For completeness, Advanced Level Units are specified here to help older students to bridge from foundation level courses to general and vocational courses at the tertiary stage. It is recognised that not all secondary schools will be staffed and equipped to provide advanced units.

Ideally, courses should be built up from General Advanced Units GA1-3 and Vocational Advanced Units VA1-3, in consultation with universities and tertiary institutions, so that advanced credits can be obtained towards a tertiary computer science course.

GENERAL EDUCATION AT THE ADVANCE LEVEL

The Computer Literacy objective should have been met at the Foundation Level.

Application of IT tools in other subject areas

Students should be able to use information technology tools to solve problems in other subject areas.

Application of Informatics in other subject areas (selected students only)

Students should be able methodically to model and solve relatively complex problems using both general purpose and problem oriented programmable tools.

COMPUTER LITERACY MODULES

Both Units specified in the Optional Programming Module (P1 and P2) should either have been studied at Foundation Level or must be studied first at this level. Also, subject to the availability of resources, all Units from the General Options Module (Op1-11) should be studied to meet the Computer Literacy objectives at this level.

GENERAL ADVANCED MODULE

Three Units are specified to meet the objectives for General Education in Informatics at the Advanced Level:

GA1 Foundations of Programming and Software Development
GA2 Advanced Elements of Programming
GA3 Applications of Modelling

FULL SPECIFICATIONS OF ALL THE ABOVE UNITS ARE GIVEN IN APPENDIX 3

Application of IT Tools in other subject areas

To meet this objective, students should have broad experience in the use of IT tools in other disciplines as described in Appendix 2; and should have studied Unit GA3, using Subject Oriented Programming (see Unit description).

Application of Informatics in other subject areas

For a fuller treatment of Informatics, students should complete all three Units GA1, GA2 and GA3. This will enable students to enter Higher Education with basic knowledge and skills in the programming of systems and in software development, as well as with practical experience in modelling.

Implementation

Both of the Units (P1 and P2) from the Optional Programming Module should be studied before attempting these General Advanced Level Units in Informatics.

Unit GA3: Applications of Modelling can be studied in parallel with Unit GA2 to give a more realistic context to the work on Advanced Elements of Programming.

VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AT THE ADVANCED LEVEL

Objective

Students are able methodically to model, design, realise and implement relatively simple information systems with the aid of problem oriented tools; and can identify problems involved in project management.

Three Units are specified to meet the objective for Vocational Education in Informatics at the Advanced Level:

VOCATIONAL ADVANCED MODULE

VA1 Business Information Systems
VA2 Process Control Systems
VA3 Project Management

FULL SPECIFICATIONS OF ALL THE ABOVE UNITS ARE GIVEN IN APPENDIX 4

Implementation

Both of the Units (P1 and P2) from the Optional Programming Module should be studied before attempting this Vocational Advanced Level Module in Informatics.

The Units recommended as optional for study by vocationally oriented students at the Foundation Level should now be regarded as pre-requisites.

A higher technical level of competence can be achieved by studying Unit GA1 from the General Advanced Level Module before starting on VA1, VA2 and VA3.

Instead of studying Units VA1, VA2 and VA3 in sequence, Unit VA3 may be used to provide a realistic context within which the objectives of Units VA1 and VA2 can be met.

Relationships between the Units


Figure